Are you ready for a 30-minute meal that tastes way better than takeout? This is by far one of my simplest and possibly most delicious asian inspired dishes. If you love sweet, sticky chicken with a kick of spice, and also want instant gratification, then this recipe is for you. No deep frying required and this chicken can be made in just one pan.
I have set out on a mission this fall and winter season of making an abundance of cozy meals that warm the soul and let me say, we are off to a pretty good start so far. I’ve made, Authentic Neapolitan Pizzas, Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches, Cheesy Corn Fritters, Burst Tomato Pasta, and lots of even more exciting recipes are on the way in the coming weeks. Right now I am cooking more than I have time to post, and each time I want to post, I get hungry and end up back in the kitchen cooking up more creative dishes. This would be a lot easier if we didn’t also have to eat everyday, ha! If only there were two of me!!
What is Sticky Chili Apricot Chicken
Similar to Orange Chicken, sticky chili apricot chicken uses jarred apricot preserves as the base for the sauce which is an easy shortcut and simplifies the ingredients needed for this recipe. We also use garlic chili paste and red pepper flakes to give the dish some kick and balances out the sweetness, then fragrant ingredients like garlic, green onion, and ginger are added. After the chicken is pan-fried, it’s then simmered in the bubbly thickened sauce and tossed to coat. You will adore this recipe because not only is it easy to put together for a weeknight meal, it is elevated enough to serve to guests. They will be extremely impressed.
It’s one of those dishes you keep eating even when your full. The flavor is intensely addictive!
How to Make Sticky Chili Apricot Chicken?
Chicken tenderloins, breasts, or thighs – the main ingredient for this recipe. I love using chicken tenders, I remove the tendons and then cut in half. They are much more tender and juicy than chicken breasts. Plus they are the perfect sized chunks when cut in half.
Seasonings and flour – simple seasonings are used here as the sauce is so powerful. But it’s important to always season your chicken. We’ll use just salt and pepper and season the chicken directly. Then we’ll coat the chicken in a dusting of flour.
Jar of Apricot Preserves – the star of this dish! The apricot preserves should be good quality, don’t skimp and buy a cheap jelly as it’ll be more corn syrup than actual fruit. You want to taste real apricot flavor with fruity stickiness. Make sure to look at the label and quality in the jar. If you can see traces of real fruit, it’s a good one.
Brown Sugar – we just need to sweeten up the apricot preserves a little and add a bit of a molasses hint to add more depth of flavor.
Soy Sauce – just a few tablespoons of this salty sauce to balance out all the sweet. You can use tamari in a 1:1 swap. I only buy low sodium soy sauces as the regular stuff is just too salty for my taste.
Garlic, Green Onions and Ginger – these are the aromatics of the dish that will impart incredible fresh flavor.
Chili\ Paste and red pepper flakes – adding sambal oelek to the sauce and a few shakes of red pepper flakes onto the finished chicken will add the perfect heat that isn’t overpoweringly spicy but adds enough kick to round out the sweet and salty base.
To simplify this recipe, we are just going to dust our chicken pieces in a coating of flour (to the already seasoned chicken pieces). Then place them in a skillet with a few tablespoons of oil. They’ll be pan fried until crisp, removed from the pan and set aside. Wipe the pan clean of oil and add in the sauce mixture then bring to a simmer and add the chicken back in. Cook for a few minutes until it’s thickened and bubbly. Transfer to a plate with rice, broccoli or any other sides you’d like. I love having my homemade egg rolls made ahead in the freezer so I can warm them in the oven while this dish is cooking.
What to Pair with this Sticky Chili Apricot Chicken?
Roasted or stir fried vegetables
In this recipe I decided to steam some white rice, then seasoned it with a splash of sesame oil and fresh chopped parsley. To keep the amount of dirty dishes to a minimum, I roasted broccoli while the chicken was cooking. Just drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
My Favorite Cooking Tools for This Recipe:
All-Clad Non-Stick Frying Pan
Rice Cooker for Perfect Rice!
Flexible Slotted Turner
Glass Mixing Bowls
Looking for other takeout-style dishes?
Crispy Honey Chicken from PF Chang’s Copycat Recipe
Orange Chicken Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe
Crispy Green Beans from PF Chang’s Copycat Recipe
The Best Homemade Egg Rolls with Warm Sweet & Sour Sauce
I look forward to your questions and feedback below. Please be sure to tag me @BadBatchBaking using hashtag #badbatchbaking if you made this recipe and I will feature you on my story! Plus, I LOVE to see your baking accomplishments.
Sticky Chili Apricot Chicken
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil for frying
- cooked jasmine rice
- 2 broccoli crowns
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders breasts or thighs can be used instead
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup flour
Sticky Chili Apricot Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tsp ginger freshly grated
- 1/4 cup green onions diced (green and white)
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chili paste like sambal oelek
- 1 cup apricot preserves or jam good quality
- sesame seeds, diced green onions, red pepper flakes to taste optional toppings
- Prepare sauce by adding all sauce ingredients into a bowl, mixing well to combine and setting aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. While it's heating, prepare chicken.
- Remove chicken tendons and cut in half so they are 2-3" pieces. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Toss with the flour until fully coated and place into the frying pan, cooking in batches as to not overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until nice and browned.
- Place fully cooked chicken on a cooling rack. Carefully wipe out excess oil from pan, then return pan to the stove, reduce to low heat and add in the sauce. Allow the sauce to warm (a few minutes) then add chicken back into the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce gets bubly and thickened. Toss to evenly coat.
- Cut the broccoli crown into small florets, spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Liberally season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss to evenly coat. Roast at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
- Serve with rice and broccoli